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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Thriller > Robots > Amusement Park > Vice (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Vice (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: B Film: C-

What if you could re-inact any crime in a controlled environment and not get in trouble? Murder without jail time? Truly let all your demons out. Would it prevent actual murder?

That is the vision of Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) in this lackluster Sci-fi film. In the film, an exotic resort named Vice is full of robots (or artificial inhabitants) that look exactly like humans and are used so that scum of the earth can fulfill their murdering fantasies without criminal backlash or remorse. Seems like a great idea, right? [It's the same as Michael Crichton's 1973 hit Westworld, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere n this site.]

Of course, one of Vice's artificial robot (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware, has flashbacks and escapes, caught in the crossfire between Julian's mercenaries and a cop (Thomas Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down the corruption of Vice, and stopping the violence once and for all. The film combines elements from many other stronger films including [as noted] Westworld, it's sequel Futureworld, A.I., Strange Days, and even Blade Runner with strong sci-fi ideas but ultimately doesn't seem them through to make an effective enough film.

Relying on too many shoot out scenes and predictable moments, Vice ended up being a complete critical wash, with the film barely earning a 4% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is a prime example of an actor phoning it in when it comes to performance and Willis is definitely doing that here. It's really a shame that Thomas Jane isn't getting better roles these days. All in all though, for some cool special effects and some star power I found the film to be watchable but ultimately not what it could have been.

Sound and Picture on the disc, however, are top notch with a 1080p high definition transfer with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a sharp English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. There's also an UltraViolet digital copy of the film included if you like watching films on your tablet or smart phone.

Extras include Commentary with the Director and Actors, Behind The Scenes, Cast and Crew Interviews, and a Trailer Gallery.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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